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Model Evaluation

Website Traffic Data

What is website traffic data?

Website traffic data provides comprehensive information and metrics on websites and their number of visitors, number of users, number of clicks, duration of the visits, how they reached the sites, their search intent, bounce rates, conversion rates, and the trends derived from all of this information. Measuring site traffic, which is the amount of data sent and received by visitors for a website, is critical in understanding its technical aspects as well as the impact made by content.

All businesses with an online presence use this data for content optimization, digital marketing campaigns, to understand their search traffic, and to improve their sites overall.

Where does web traffic data come from?

Web traffic data can come from internal sources and external sources. The internal sources use cookies, browser fingerprinting, and site analytics tools (such as Google Analytics) to collect information about the amount of traffic (number of visits) their sites get, how much time visitors spend on individual pages, and the referral sites.

External sources include web scraping tools, advertisers providing company site analysis tools for potential partners, keyword research data for a geographical areas, and others. Traffic analytics sites like Google offer real-time as well as historical traffic data for any website.

What types of attributes should I expect?

Typically, website traffic data provides the following attributes:

  • Does the website exist
  • Website creation date, website update date, and website expiration date
  • Is the website WordPress
  • Number of subdomains
  • Technologies in use by the website
  • Number of links on the website
  • Number of backlinks and referring links
  • Website visitors by region
  • Paid (PPC) vs organic traffic (from organic search) 
  • Amount spent on search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Website content analysis
  • Website online shopping option, number of products on the site, and the average price of products
  • Website traffic statistics such as the number of visitors, page views per visitor, and time per page per visitor
  • Number of visits, daily visitors and daily unique visitors
  • Cookies, IP address, browser family, device OS, mobile id, mobile advertising id
  • The channel of reaching the website - links from other websites, email, advertisements, social media, keyword search terms 
  • Traffic stats from competitor websites

Some analytics platforms also provide comparison statistics, visitors by region, and visitor demographics.

How should I test the quality of web traffic data?

The most critical aspect of web traffic data is the immense volume of it available. Multiple data sources can deliver duplicate data as well as inconsistent data. Due to the enormous amount of data, ensuring that it is clean and of high quality is a challenge. Testing data for regular updates will ensure that the data is recent, as the trends are highly dynamic.

To test the quality of the web traffic trends data:

  • Assess the data for duplicates, overlaps, and inconsistencies.
  • Evaluate the data accuracy and completeness.
  • Validate that the data is updated frequently or in real time.
  • Ensure the web scraping tools are not overwhelming the sites to avoid potential blocking.
  • Verify the privacy compliance of data.

Who uses web traffic trends data?

Companies of all types and sizes use website traffic data for several marketing use cases. They include market research, identifying market trends, designing marketing campaigns, audience analysis, competitor analysis, measuring market share, and others.

Measuring the performance of the website in reaching their audience helps companies evaluate their marketing campaigns and redesign them as needed. It uncovers opportunities to reach specific audience segments and increase the presence in regions of most visits.

Businesses use web traffic trends data to assess the website or app from both the technical and the content perspective.

What are the common challenges when buying this type of data?

The biggest challenge when buying the data is assuring its accuracy. Due to the large volume from multiple sources, the data may have inconsistencies and errors. Data timeliness is also a concern, especially as trends can be short-lived.

Other challenges with this data include completeness and compliance with privacy regulations.

  • Data accuracy: High volumes of web traffic and diverse sources makes it difficult to assure high-quality trends data in near-real-time. Web scraping tools quickly deliver data, but that data is often not clean. At times these tools may get blocked, and the updated information may not be available. As the insights and related decisions are highly dependent on data accuracy, this is the biggest challenge for web traffic trends data.
  • Data timeliness: Web traffic is very high, and its trends change constantly. Detecting and leveraging trends promptly can be challenging. The data collected from various sources may also show inconsistencies if some sources do not get regularly updated. You can profitably use the insights into the trends only when the vendor can provide frequently updated or real-time data.
  • Data completeness and consistency: Web traffic data collected from multiple sources may have missing information, overlaps, mismatches, as well as duplicates. Ensuring that the data is complete is necessary to derive actionable insights. Data consistency will deliver trusted analytical results that you can immediately leverage for marketing and advertising.
  • Privacy compliance: Traffic data can include personally identifiable information (PII) or any other sensitive information. Compliance of data with all the required privacy regulations is a challenge, and the vendor must provide compliance certifications.

What are similar data types?

Web traffic trends data is similar to social media sentiment data, demographic data, consumer lifestyle data, and other related data categories used in marketing and advertising.

You can find a variety of consumer and company data in the Explorium Data Gallery.

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What are the most common use cases?

The most common use cases include trend forecasting, audience targeting, customer segmentation, network segmentation, online performance tracking, and content distribution strategy.        

  • Trend forecasting: Involves monitoring market trends to discover opportunities for business goals. A good trend forecasting model begins with business goals and customer segmentation. It then analyzes data from different sources to predict trends for existing products and prospects for new products. Web traffic data helps recognize opportunities to leverage search, discussions, and purchases for products and services.
  • Audience Targeting: Data-driven audience targeting leverages technology to focus on potential audiences accurately.  Web traffic data identifies the products or services people search, discuss, buy, and use. These insights help improve audience engagement through relevant content and promotional offers.
  • Customer Segmentation: Dividing the target customers into smaller segments helps deliver focused messages and relevant offers. Web traffic data can be used to refine the customer segmentation and plan the targeted promotion.
  • Network Segmentation: It is the process of dividing different parts of a network into separate segments. Physical or technological network segmentation improves the speed, performance, and security of the company network. Web traffic trends data identifies the trends of people accessing company websites, which helps in the network segmentation strategy.
  • Online performance tracking: Most companies with an online presence use web traffic trends data to track their online performance for technical aspects as well as content. They measure the impact of their promotions and advertisements to improve their ROI. 
  • Content distribution strategy: Companies invest in content to drive their inbound marketing through blogs, newsletters, webinars, case studies, demos, videos, or other types of content. A content distribution strategy leverages the target audience and distribution channels to maximize the investment. Web traffic trends data contributes to the content distribution strategy by identifying trends and performance of paid, owned, or free channels. 

Which industries commonly use this type of data?

Industries that commonly use web traffic data for marketing and advertising include eCommerce, retail, CPG, travel, hospitality, leisure, entertainment, financial service providers, insurance providers, and banking.    

How can you judge the quality of your vendors?

Vendors use web scraping tools, site analytics, and keyword search data to deliver web traffic trends. The diversity of these sources requires data quality assurance from the vendor. As the timely delivery of trusted data needs a strong vendor commitment, you can use a variety of methods to judge the quality of vendors.

  • Customer reviews and testimonials: Customer testimonials signify customer confidence in the vendor. Reviews from diverse customers are a good indication of the types of projects involving the vendor. They also give you some idea about the verticals in which the vendor is experienced. You can use this information to judge how closely the vendor knowledge matches your requirements.
  • Case studies: Some vendor websites describe case studies with detailed information about the vendor's success in multiple projects. Case studies also offer a glimpse of data quality, the range of data attributes, the availability of custom datasets, and the level of vendor commitment. 
  • Demo: A practical approach to assess the vendor quality is using the demos. Some vendors provide recorded demos on their websites, some share demos on request, while some may arrange live demos for you. Demos illustrate types and quality of datasets, ease of integration, and other aspects relevant to your use case.
  • Interacting with vendor reps: After using the available resources of customer reviews, case studies, or demos, you can shortlist some vendors and move to the next step. Discussing your requirements with vendor reps helps resolve your queries quickly, check the availability of custom datasets, and gauge the vendor's capabilities.

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